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Modded second hand guitars: reasonable pricing?

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by David_Maas, Jun 3, 2015.

  1. David_Maas

    David_Maas Tele-Meister

    Oct 28, 2014
    Potsdam, Germany
    Hi guys,

    Today's question is about modded second hand guitars and how to value them. I'm sure we've all been there, looking in the classified ads or on the bay and seeing a Tele or a Strat that somebody has modded. I'm sure most of you agree with me that changing a pickguard (when supplying the original along with it) does not decrease the value of a second hand too much. But how about other mods?

    Specifically, what if the seller has done some mods with which you approve/you would have done yourself: changing the trem block on a Strat for a high mass one or replacing the pickups with something to your liking. From a sellers perspective, I can imagine asking a price which would sound reasonable compared to the cash put into the guitar. As a buyer, however, I have my doubts. Firstly, say he installed some new pickups (or better yet: a "tech" installed them), how am I to judge the quality of the work from an online ad? Sure I could ask pictures from which I may be able to spot a proper soldering job, but who is to say? Secondly, if he changed the pickups, who's to say he hasn't tampered with the rest of the guitar?

    Would the overall price spent on the guitar be a good benchmark to calculate a fair second hand price from, or would you rather start at a percentage off of the stock price?

    As an example, say you have a seller offering a FSR Oly White Classic Player 60's Strat, with a swapped pickguard and a stainless steel trem block. Would you pay 7/8ths of the price of a new one? (I wouldn't!)

    I'm curious about your views on the matter and any examples you may have encountered.

  2. songtalk

    songtalk Friend of Leo's

    Sep 5, 2014
    Greensboro, North Carolin
    Parts casters are all worth 3-500 bucks. Doesn't matter if you spent 0-3000 $ assembling it. It doesn't matter that all fenders are basically partscasters anyway.
    3-500 MAX.

    If you want what you paid for it.

    Be nice and meticulous and patient and start taking one thing at a time off and listing it for a competitive but reasonable price in your favorite online marketplace.

    For example (these prices reflect used MIM standard parts....prices on parts can definitely vary.....actually the nicer the parts the more important it is to part it out )

    Body : 150 $
    Neck : 200
    Pickups : 100 $
    Tuners : 30 $
    Bridgeplate : 10 $
    Saddles : 30 $
    Knobs : 15 $
    250k cts pots : 10 $
    3 way switch : 10 $
    Strap buttons : 5 $
    Pickguard : 10 $
    Control plate : 10 $
    Switch tip : 5 $

    And there. You might get you're money back that way ; ).....if you're really lucky.
  3. David_Maas

    David_Maas Tele-Meister

    Oct 28, 2014
    Potsdam, Germany
    Just to be clear: I would be the buyer in this hypothetical situation. I'm wondering what to offer, but also curious on what you've encountered in the past.
  4. johnnyrotten

    johnnyrotten Tele-Meister

    May 12, 2010
    I lost so much money selling my modded guitars when my business was failing and I had to try to stay afloat to feed my family I just wanted to cry...
  5. Octave Doctor

    Octave Doctor Tele-Afflicted

    Mar 10, 2009
    Morgantown, WV.
    Most people don't want to pay for your mods, put the guitar back stock. I'd be more inclined to buy a stock instrument.
  6. studio

    studio Poster Extraordinaire

    May 27, 2013
    Yup, that's sounds about right.

    Last thing I want is somebody's EVH lookalike
    monstrosity from yesteryear.

    I also would not buy a guitar that has had anything carved,
    or hacked away at. Like a Do It Yourself Les Paul Double Cutaway!
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